Parasites Likely Cause of Puppy’s Diarrhea

Loose stools in puppies can have a number of causes, but parasites are most common.

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Q. My 4-month-old Doberman Pinscher  puppy has had really runny stool for about two weeks. I have not changed her food. What could she have a problem with? I'm hesitant to take her to a vet as the last bill was $2,800 for an ear infection.

A. OMG, $2,800 for an ear infection! I must admit I am shocked. Please excuse my social networking shorthand, but anyone would be reluctant to return to your veterinarian with those kinds of costs.

Fortunately, your puppy's problem is most likely going to be much less expensive to solve. The most common cause of diarrhea in puppies is parasites, such as roundworms and hookworms. Every puppy should be dewormed every two to three weeks starting at 3 weeks of age until they are started on heartworm prevention medication at the age of 6 months. The heartworm prevention medication should also contain a deworming medicine for intestinal parasites.

The product you are looking for to deworm your puppy is called pyrantel palmoate or fenbendazole, either will do the trick. If your puppy drinks creek or pond water, there may be giardia also, and that would also respond to fenbendazole, but it must be repeated three days in a row.

Find a more reasonably priced veterinarian, and get your puppy dewormed. Over-the-counter products are ineffective, and usually a waste of money. You should also be prepared to pay for a fecal exam to determine what your puppy is actually infected with, but again, this should be very inexpensive if sent out to an outside lab that does large quantities of samples.

Thanks for your question, and good luck with your puppy.


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Eileen - 249708   Port Perry, ON

3/20/2013 4:36:11 AM

I was shock when I read the cost of treating an ear infection. This is an interesting article. I think I would be reporting this cost to the Veterinary Medical Board and ask for an inquiry.

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